August Newsletter – 16.08.2021
- Uranium tops Morgan Stanley’s commodity thermometer
- New policies in Inner Mongolia may tighten synthetic graphite supply – report
- Why China is making a big play for Congolese cobalt – and other critical minerals
- Rescuers rush to free 19 trapped miners in northwestern
- Deep Diving for Metals: Visualizing Ocean Mining
- Japan reiterates willingness to keep investing in Peru’s mining-energy sector
- Labour woes spread from copper to lithium in Chile
- N. Carolina county slaps moratorium on mining as Piedmont Lithium plans project
- Nigeria, China to collaborate on mineral deposits
Uranium tops Morgan Stanley’s commodity thermometer
Morgan Stanley has placed uranium at the very top of its Metals and Mining Commodity Thermometer.
Uranium was assigned a ‘most bullish’ thesis of 17 mined commodities under the bank’s coverage.
“Further price upside near term as commercial inventories are drawn down, investment demand continues, and mine supply remains below 2019 levels. Longer term, growth continues to push price higher,” read a slide shared by a social media user.
The gap between uranium spot and contract prices has narrowed for a third consecutive month, reaching $32.40 and $33.50 per lb. at end July, respectively.
New policies in Inner Mongolia may tighten synthetic graphite supply – report
Battery pack workshop at Xpeng’s factory in Zhaoqing
A new report by Roskill states that the synthetic graphite market could be driven into a deficit as a consequence of booming demand from growth in the lithium-ion battery and downstream EV sectors worldwide, and the strict energy consumption control policy for high-energy consuming industries that Inner Mongolia has applied in response to China’s 14th Five-Year Plan.
The new controls have limited the production of synthetic graphite from existing producers as the supply of electricity to the region’s synthetic graphite graphitization plants decreased by 15-30% since April, according to Chinese industry research firm ICCSINO. The situation improved in May and June, but supply tightened again in July, with utilization rates falling by 10% in Ulanqab.
Besides potentially affecting the possibility of new projects getting government approval, Roskill says that this situation has led to a 70% increase in the price of active anode material (AAM) based on synthetic graphite.
Why China is making a big play for Congolese cobalt – and other critical minerals
A number of Chinese companies have interests in DRC operations mining primary commodities for electric vehicle batteries
The US needs to rethink supply chains if it is to be competitive in the future green economy, analyst says
The latest deal came just last week.
Mining giant China Molybdenum Company (CMOC) announced a US$2.51 billion plan to double copper and cobalt production at its massive Tenke Fungurume mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
It came on the back of a US$550 million deal in December for CMOC to buy US miner Freeport-McMoRan’s indirect 95 per cent stake in the Kisanfu copper-cobalt operation – also in the DRC.
Rescuers rush to free 19 trapped miners in northwestern
The flooding happened around noon Saturday at the Chaida’er coal mine in Qinghai province
Rescuers in northwestern China worked Sunday to free 19 trapped coal miners, hours after their site was flooded by mud in an accident that has already killed one worker.
The flooding happened around noon Saturday at the Chaida’er coal mine in Qinghai province, state media reported. Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.
Mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record and regulations are often weakly enforced.
At Chaida’er, 21 people were working underground at the time of the accident, and one person was rescued with injuries, China’s emergency management ministry said.
Deep Diving for Metals: Visualizing Ocean Mining
The mining sector has been one of the biggest beneficiaries in the COVID-19 recovery.
Several countries’ recovery packages have ignited demand for commodities like copper, iron ore and lithium. Given that more metals are necessary for electrification and the clean energy transition, many companies are looking at an unexplored market: ocean mining.
Mining of the Deep Sea is still under study but metals are abundant on the seafloor. Reserves are estimated to be worth anywhere from $8 trillion to more than $16 trillion.
This infographic from Prospector provides a visual overview of the seabed mining process.
Down in the Depths
The most prolific area for ocean mining is the Clarion Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, between Hawaii and Mexico. Almost 20 international mining companies have contracts to explore the region which spans over 5,000 kilometers.
Most of the metals are found in potato-sized rock-like polymetallic nodules. Millions of years old, the nodules grow by absorbing metals from the seawater, expanding slowly around the core of shell, bone, or rock.
Japan reiterates willingness to keep investing in Peru’s mining-energy sector
Energy and Mines Minister Ivan Merino on Thursday held a meeting with Japanese Ambassador to Peru Katayama Kazuyuki, who reaffirmed his country’s confidence in Peru’s current administration and indicated his government’s willingness to continue investing in the mining-energy sector.
During the meeting, held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Energy and Mines (Minem) in Lima, the diplomat addressed various issues and presented proposals to help boost investments in the sector.
Additionally, the Japanese envoy expressed his readiness to contribute to the policies implemented by Minem for the development of a sustainable activity.
Minister Merino remarked that the Social Profitability criterion will be promoted in the mining-energy sector to ensure territorial development in regions where economic activities are being conducted, seeking the well-being of the population in a climate of social peace.
Labour woes spread from copper to lithium in Chile
Chile’s labour woes are spreading from copper to lithium, as members of a union at one of Albemarle Corp.’s sprawling brine-processing operations walked off the job.
Salar de Atacama, Chile.
The 135 members of the Salar union began a strike Wednesday after failing to reach a wage agreement in collective bargaining with management.
In a statement, union leaders accuse the company of anti-union practices and said they are pushing for improvements in working conditions and wage equality. The company said it regrets the union’s decision and remains confident of reaching a deal as it has without disputes with three other unions.
Albemarle has contingencies in place to continue operating, although much would depend on how long the strike lasts. The U.S.-based company is the world’s biggest producer of lithium and Chile is the No. 2 exporter.
N. Carolina county slaps moratorium on mining as Piedmont Lithium plans project
Aug 6 (Reuters) – A North Carolina county imposed a 60-day mining moratorium on Friday, giving officials time to rework local regulations before Piedmont Lithium Inc (PLL.O) applies for a necessary zoning variance.
Commissioners in Gaston County, west of Charlotte, unanimously approved a resolution that says the company “cannot be trusted without adequate local controls to protect the health, safety and welfare” of citizens.
Piedmont representatives could not immediately be reached for comment. The company’s shares fell 1.3% in after-hours trading.
If developed, the mine would become one of the largest U.S. sources of lithium for electric vehicle batteries. But officials have worried it could taint groundwater supplies and cause light and noise pollution, among other concerns.
Nigeria, China to collaborate on mineral deposits
The Federal Government says it will collaborate with China Railway Investment Group Limited (CRIG) to harness the versed mineral deposits across the country.
Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, expressed government readiness while receiving the team of CRIG on Saturday in Abuja.
Adegbite, who made this known in a statement issued by Mrs Etore Thomas, the Director Press of the ministry, said that the ministry would avail CRIG the opportunities of investing in priority areas.
“The ministry can avail CRIG the opportunities to invest both on mining and metal sector once there is genuine expression of interest in the sector that will facilitate the industrialisation and prosperity of the nation,” he said.
Adegbite canvassed for investment in mining and processing of some of the major minerals, such as Gold, Bitumen, Barite, Led, Zinc, cobbalt, Lithium, coal and gemstones.
This, he said, would satisfy and expand both the local and international markets and ensure the GDP growth of the economy.
“The ministry is likely to begin auctioning of Bitumen licences by October this year and critical investors should utilise such ample opportunity to immensely contribute to the growth of the sector for a viable nation,” said the minister.
Link for more detailed information